Last January, I saw my doctor about my right shoulder pain. She said nothing was torn, said it was probably scar tissue from an old repetitive use injury, and an x-ray confirmed it was probably not something more serious. She also referred me to physical therapy. Insurance isn’t covering as much stuff as it used to so I skipped the therapy and researched PT exercises on YouTube. I told Trainer that between the two of us, we should be able to design a rehab program to fix the darn thing. Trainer designed a new lifting program that allowed me to build the deltoid without aggravating it too much. At first, I did the rehab exercises a couple times a day. I started to strain the tendons in my elbow. So I backed off and only them before every upper body workout. I also wore an elbow sleeve to provide more support.
Last winter, there were days when the pain was so bad I cried in the locker room between exercises. Trainer had to improvise the shoulder workouts many times to work around the pain. The pain interfered with every workout – even some leg work. It kept me awake every night. Very, very frustrating.
But it never occurred to me that this was an insurmountable obstacle. I believed that the rehab exercises and the modified deltoid exercises would work. It was just a matter of time. I remember Trainer said I’d see improvements in about 3 months – it took 6.
It’s probably never going to be 100%, but a couple months ago, I noticed big improvements in strength. I didn’t need the elbow support anymore. During the last two weeks, I’ve noticed some nice changes in the look of the shoulders during that workout. Last week, I added front raises back into the routine. Front raises used to be the most painful.
I’m still careful. I’m still doing the rehab exercises. But I’m not dreading the shoulder workout anymore. I’m actually enjoying it.
Despite what I say, I’m totally aware of my age (49.6 yrs old) and know that injuries will heal slowly. I’ve had a lot of experience with muscle pulls in my back. My lifting workouts take longer because the first 15-20 minutes are spent warming up and stretching everything. I get a little ambitious with my weights – that may be my downfall, but I still try to be careful. I never add a lot at one time. I move up in small increments. If I can’t handle it, I put it down. Form is more important. I’m learning to pay attention to my body. I’m stubborn, I’m impatient, but I’m learning.